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  • Writer's pictureOverstrand Life

Sunday 23rd April 2023 - Alert, May Events and Musmula Tree

The test ‘emergency alert’, which has received so much media coverage over the past couple of weeks, has just come through on my phone. At first it was a message across the screen and then the message was read in a non-English accent; this I think was American but then I am pretty useless identifying accents. On this basis, I am assuming the UK are using a US facility. The alerts only reach those with phones using 4 or 5g and those whose phone does not have these levels of mobile phone technology won’t have received this trial alert and also won’t, should there be a real emergency some time in the future.

The east wind has finally dropped. Even when the sun was shining, while it was blowing, it was not pleasant to be out in the garden, unless of course I was in the greenhouse. With a cold week ahead forecast, we have not wasted any time bringing the garden up to date. I purchased some plants online, which arrived on Saturday. Most of these are varieties not normally stocked in our village garden centre. They are quite small but with roots filling the plastic 9cm pots I am sure they will soon fill out, especially as I have put some chicken manure pellets round the root balls, when I potted them on into more sturdy terracotta pots.

Looking ahead to May, there are quite a few events on in the village. First, is the Fun Dog Show in the grounds of the Sea Marge on Bank Holiday May 1st, see posters throughout the village. Then on Sunday May 7th, the Parish Council are organising a Street Party, Treasure Hunt and Sandcastle Competition to celebrate the coronation of King Charles, again see posters as well as the notices in the village. Also on that weekend, there is Folk on the Pier in Cromer, which although not in the village, I have given it a mention as it is produced by village resident, Scott Butler, who brought Folk on the Strand to the Belfry Centre in February. On Monday 8th May, which as been decreed by King Charles as a community day, help is being sought to tidy St Martin’s churchyard. If you can help do go along with a selection of your garden tools. Refreshments will be available to helpers. Then, on Thursday 18th May, the Car Boot Sales on the Sports Field resume and, weather permitting, will be held every week until late September. This year I will be on the lookout for small garden pots and no doubt I won’t be able to resist the temptation to buy a few plants for the garden.

Today’s photo is of our musmula tree (known as loquat in the UK) which is happily growing at the end of our garden. There is a story behind this tree. We were walking in the Lourdas area in Kefalonia, in the late 1990’s, where we had been told there was a path from the beach, through the locals’ vegetable and fruit gardens and up to the village. Struggling to find the path an elderly lady, who was tending her garden, indicated there wasn’t a path but motioned us to wait while she picked us some fruits from her musmula tree. Our Greek was pretty well not existent then, so we had to manage with sign language! Receiving the fruits, was an early example of the generosity extended to us by locals on our visits to Greece. Perfectly ripe, the fruits were about the size of an apricot and the same colouring too. Juicy and sweet I kept the brown seeds inside one of the fruits, brought them home, where I planted them and they subsequently germinated. We kept two of them in pots and brought them with us when we moved here from Bucks. One tree died but the other has exceeded all expectations. Although it has never flowered and therefore never borne any fruit, it looks out to sea, just as its parent tree did and over the past fourteen years has taken the full brunt of the easterly winds, and yet every year it produces new shoots and leaves. I am totally amazed at its hardiness and who knows, maybe one year it will flower.


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